tv Democracy Now LINKTV September 15, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT
09/15/15 09/15/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! , 9:30was sunday morning and i was sleeping and somebody came to get me that they were tasting them, so i got up and grabbed my phone and grabbed some sweats and i shot out the door. from the backside, i could not really see who it was, but i did there back in a pretzel shape. they had them handcuffed.
he was screaming for dear life, you know? once i got around the front and saw it was my friend freddie gray, i was like, ok, it is on. so i started recording. amy: as six baltimore police officers face charges in the death of freddie gray, we will speak with kevin moore, the baltimore man who filmed gray being violently arrested and thrown into the back of a police van. the time gray left the van, his spine was 80% severed at the neck. then to seattle where schools are closed for a fifth day as teachers continue their first strike in 30 years. we will speak to socialist city council member kshama sawant and public school teacher jesse hagopian. >> we can fight and transform public education to make it something relevant to our students lives, to make it something that will help our students deal with the problems they're facing rather than just filling in another bubble to enrich a testing company.
amy: and then to bolivia. very interestthe of capitalism. [inaudible] amy: for the past decade, bolivian president evo morales has spoken out against the actions of the u.s. drug enforcement administration. many critics called him paranoid when he kicked the dea out of bolivia. but now details have emerged about a secret u.s. sting operation targeting him called operation naked king. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. hungary has declared a state of emergency in two regions along its southern border with serbia as hungarian authorities arrest more than 60 people under new laws criminalizing border crossing.
a group of refugees have to curb hunger strike at the border, demand passage. the rising tensions come as european union officials meeting in brussels monday failed to agree on a plan to resettle 120,000 asylum seekers. outside the meeting, the aunt of the 3-year-old syrian toddler aylan kurdi, whose lifeless body was photographed on a turkish shore after his boat sank in the mediterranean, demanded the european union take action to help refugees. >> please, say the refugees. do something. put hands together. find a solution. make it happen. people should open their hearts and help those refugees. amy: in california, at least one -- major wildfires continue to burn out of control despite
nearly 9000 firefighters efforts. three massive fires have burned more than 250,000 acres across central and northern california. 72-year-old retired teacher barbara mclean's died over the weekend after the flames engulfed her home in middletown. authorities say several other people are unaccounted for. more than 20,000 have evacuated the region. 500 homes have burned. the fires come as a new report concludes burning all of the world's coal, oil, and natural gas deposits would cause the entire ice sheet covering antarctica to melt, raising sea levels. scientists found half the melting could happen in as few years, warning oceans and the melting of the rest of the world's land eyes would cause the sea to rise a total of more than 200 feet enough to , consume nearly all of florida, the entire east coast of the the u.s. delta miami. miami, new orleans, houston, washington, new york, london, paris, and tokyo. researcher ricarda winkelmann told the "new york times" --
"to be blunt, if we burn it all, we melt it all." meanwhile, the world's largest public relations company has vowed to no longer work for coal producers and climate change deniers. the guardian reports edelamn made the decision because such clients pose a threat to its legitimacy and bottom line. mexico's foreign minister is flying to cairo after egyptian security forces mistakenly killed 12 people when they attacked a group of mexican tourists. egypt's interior ministry said the crew of an apache helicopter opened fire on the tourists after mistaking them for islamist militants. mexican president enrique peña nieto demanded an explanation monday. >> yesterday's events have saddened us as a nation. there hasn't been a president in years of an event like this against our citizens. mexico estimated from the egyptian government exhaustive,
throw, and prompt investigation which establishes responsibility. amy: peña nieto's remarks come as families of 43 students missing in mexico demand answers of their own nearly a year after their loved ones went missing in guerrero state after coming under attack by local police the night of september 26. an independent report has rejected the mexican government's claim the students were killed by members of a local gang and incinerated at a garbage dump. the mexican government has agreed to meet with representatives of the missing students' families ahead of the anniversary next week. in australia, malcolm turnbull has been sworn in as the new prime minister after former prime minister tony abbott was ousted in snap elections called for by his own liberal party. public opinion of tony abbott had reached a record low amid controversial decisions to roll back climate change legislation, oppose same-sex marriage, and turn back boats carrying refugees.
trimble spoke to reporters after monday's vote. >> this will be a thoroughly liberal government. it will be a thoroughly liberal government committed to freedom, the individual, and the market. it will be focused on ensuring that in the years ahead as the world becomes more and more competitive and greater opportunities arise, we are able to take advantage of that. amy: in mississippi, a man accused of killing his partner and a colleague has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. authorities say they were pursuing shannon lamb when he pulled over, ran away and shot himself. delta state university was locked down monday after lamb allegedly shot and killed professor ethan schmidt. police say hours earlier, he murdered his domestic partner, amy prentiss, at their home, 300 miles away. tens of thousands of people gathered in tokyo to protest the government's plan to rewrite japan's pacifist constitution to allow japanese troops fight abroad for the first time since
world war ii. prime minister shinzo abe's administration is aiming to enact the legislation this month. in a victory for environmentalists, the minnesota court of appeals has dealt a blow to the proposed sandpiper oil pipeline, which would carry crude oil from north dakota's bakken oil fields through minnesota to wisconsin, running near pristine water resources. the court ruled a full-scale environmental review of the project must be conducted before the project can move ahead. the ruling invalidates an earlier decision by the minnesota public utilities commission to allow the canadian company enbridge to move forward with the project. in one of the more unusual stops of the 2016 campaign trail, vermont senator bernie sanders brought his message of economic justice to the evangelical christian college liberty university in virginia. sanders defended a pro-choice stance in front of a crowd of nearly 12,000 people, while acknowledging differences, he
sought common ground on the issues of poverty and economic inequality. >> i understand that the issues of abortion and gay marriage are issues that you feel very strongly about. we disagree on those issues, i get that. but let me respectfully suggest that there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country and, in fact, to the entire world, that maybe, just maybe, we do not disagree on. and maybe, just maybe, we can try to work together to resolve them. amy: a federal court has ordered the fbi to lift an 11-year-old gag order on nicholas merrill in -- in early 2004, merrill was running an internet service
provider called calyx when he received a national security letter ordering him to hand over detailed private records about some of his customers. democracy now! was among merrill's clients. under the law, recipients of the letters are barred from telling anyone about their encounter with the fbi. merrill challenged the national security letter statute, and won a settlement in 2010 allowing him to discuss some details. now a court has removed the gag order in what reportedly marks the first time a national security letter has been lifted in full since the patriot act expanded the fbi's authority on national security letters in 2001. merrill remains gagged for 90 days to allow the obama administration to consider an appeal. after a lengthy legal battle, the obama administration has given over a redacted version of eight videotapes showing forced-feedings of prisoners at guantánamo bay to a court. the guardian reports the justice department's disclosure came nearly a year after a federal judge first ordered the
disclosure of the eight tapes. an attorney for abu wa'el dhiab, one of the prisoners whose force-feeding is shown on the tapes, called them a "national scandal." dhiab's attorneys and news outlets will now fight for the public to see the tapes. in south carolina, a former north charleston police officer charged with murder for shooting walter scott, and armed african-american man, -- an unarmed african-american man, will remain in jail after being denied bond. circuit judge clifton newman concluded releasing michael slager would "constitute an unreasonable danger to the community." video footage captured by a bystander shows slager shooting walter scott in the back as he ran away. in news from ferguson, missouri, a panel formed in the aftermath of the police shooting of michael brown has called for reforms to address racial injustice in the st. louis region. the report calls for merging police departments and courts and curbing police use of force through new policies, training
and a statewide database of , use-of-force incidents. it concludes, "the regular use of force has led many citizens to view the police as an occupying force." in kentucky, rowan county clerk kim davis did not prevent her deputies from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples monday on her first day back at work after she was jailed for refusing to provide the licenses herself. davis said she herself would not authorize same-sex marriage licenses. >> any unauthorized license the issue will not have my name, my title, or my authority on it. instead, the license will state they are issued pursuant to a federal court order. judge bunning indicated last week you is willing to accept altered marriage licenses, even though he was not certain of their validity. amy: in kerala, india, thousands of women tea plantation workers have ended an unprecedented nine-day strike after their
managers agreed to their demands to increase bonuses. the women blockaded roads in the hill town of munnar. and the civil rights attorney solomon seay, jr., has died at the age of 81. they fog desegregation and helped represent no commerce member john lewis in the recently deceased civil rights leader a million boynton the successful battle to allow the so much of montgomery voting rights march to proceed peacefully after the marchers were attacked by alabama state troopers on bloody sunday in 1965. the president of the naacp's legal defense fund called him "the true hero of alabama civil rights movement." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
baltimore mayor stephanie rawlings blake announced she will not seek reelection in the city's 2016 merrill race to that she can focus on governing the city on the edge over the trials of six police officers charged in the death of freddie gray, an african american man who died in april after being arrested and transported in a police van. rawlings blake made the announcement on friday. >> we all know this is a very critical time in our city. many important decisions lie ahead. both in recovering from april's unrest and managing our city through the multiple trials that are coming up. over the past few months as i have been making plans for what i know is a vigorous campaign, i realize that every moment that i spent planning for a campaign for reelection was a time i was taking away from my current
responsibilities to the city, to the city that i love and a city that i took an oath to serve. and because of that, i have made the decision not to seek reelection. amy: the announcement came at the end of a week that saw several developments in the freddie gray case. on thursday, judge barry williams rolled the six officers charged in the death of freddie gray will face separate trials. williams also refused defense attempts to dismiss the charges, move the case out of baltimore, and remove prosecutor marilyn mosby from the case. an earlier in the week, baltimore reached a $6.4 million settlement with the family freddie gray. his family said his voice box was crushed and his spine was 80% severed at the neck. police say they arrested gray for making eye contact with them, then running away. well, one key piece of evidence in the case against the officers in the freddie gray case is the
video shot by my next guest. it went viral, showing gray screaming in apparent agony as police dragged him into a van. >> his leg looks broke. look at his leg. look at his leg. that was leg looks broke. his leg is broken. y'all are dragging him like that. kevin moore, the message of the video, joins us today. he lives in the gilmor housing projects were freddie gray lip, one of the people who documented freddie gray's final moments before being taken into police custody. after filming the event, kevin became a member of wecopwatch, a nationwide effort to reduce police violence and harassment by videotaping encounters with the community and also founded wecopwatch baltimore.
welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us, kevin. >> thank you so much. amy: let's talk about what happened the morning of april 12. or were you when freddie gray was being arrested? >> i was sleeping in bed. amy: a sunday morning. >> yes, i think like 9:00 or 9:30. i was sleeping and somebody came hollering, they are chasing him, they are chasing him. i hopped out of bed and grabbed my hoodie and pants and my phone and was out the door. amy: what did you do? >> from the sinai was on initially, could not see anything. i just saw they had someone pinned to the ground and it was really brutal. it looked like it hurt. once i crossed around and saw it .as freddie, i was shocked amy: you knew him. >> freddie was a friend of mine.
he was a friend of a lot of people in that area, and that community. when it happened to him, when i first saw him i'm like, well, oh, my god, it is happening here right now in front of me. amy: had you filmed before? >> never. never, never, never. i was always witnessing or, you know, therefore police brutality, but the freddie gray instead was the first time i picked up a camera and actually pushed it this far. amy: picked up a camera, you mean your cell phone? >> yes, absolutely. amy: where were you and what were they doing to freddie? street and i was in the middle of the street and i could see he was handcuffed. his hands and feet in the middle of his back. amy: what do you mean?
>> picture the heels of your feet almost in the middle of back, but the wrong way. it looked like a pretzel almost. the one officer had his knee buried into his neck. you could hear him screaming. you could hear the pain in his voice. face, you could see it. when they picked him up and drive him to the event, you could see he had no control of his legs are was unable to stand , which is why they dragged him from one point to the other. film 10 goingust into the van. being dragged into the van. >> absolutely. amy: than what happened? >> they pulled around on mount street at baker street and a cold him out again to what they said -- they said was to place
leg shackles on him. as you saw the last video, he leg life. he could not use his likes, know what i am saying? what was the reason for you to put the leg shackles on him? amy: what did you do with a video? he is taken away. where did you go? >> internal affairs. amy: you would to the police? >> i was ignorant at the time. i did not know. in my mind i'm thinking the internal affairs, this is their job, you know, to police the police. this is before know anything about wecopwatch. i am there and in internal affairs headquarters, waiting. they had my phones. >> do you have a backup of the video? how long are you there? our dissent upwards of seven hours, eight hours. ofi want to say upwards
seven hours, eight hours. i gave them the video. once i got back to where i lived at the time, i called every news media outlet. be and a couple of people around the community and a friend of mine filmed the second half of the video. we pushed it. we got together and we called, like, everybody. we youtubed it and did what i thought internal affairs was taking too long to do. amy: did police see filming? >> absolutely. amy: did they try to stop you? >> absolutely. and the video they tell me to stop recording. i told them, hey, man, i'm not going to stop it. up.ells me, well, back sure, i can back up, but i'm not going to stop recording because first amendment right and i'm entitled to it. amy: so you go to the police for seven hours. they film you talking about what you saw and they also made a copy of the video you to get the
video back? >> it remained intact. the same way i gave it to them. amy: people may not know your face, but that video has been seen all over the world. can you talk about what that meant to you? that was april 12 when freddy was first taken. .e died one week later you got that video out within that time. and the response -- well, you might say that is the reason six police officers have been indicted for the death of freddie gray. your reaction to that? >> it is surreal, almost like i'm dreaming kind of. again, i have been through so much personally in my life in west baltimore, it is just a hard place to grow up in. is all weival concentrate on, you know?
like,ht of that, it is what do you do when you are placed in a position where you have people that are supposed to protect in the police, but you can't trust them because they brutalize people, hurt people, dehumanize people? know what i'm saying? it is very belittling to me when you say, we're supposed to trust you when you can come out with the police bill of rights and protect these animals from the very laws that they break. it is amazing to me. amy: you had never done this before. cop watch got in touch with you after? >> absolutely. immediately after they saw the freddie gray video and there was a few days into what was going on, and they came out and they got in contact with me. we went out and got -- they brought me cameras and set up a
nonprofit gofundme. amy: what has been the police reaction to you since? >> it is amazing how i can keep them at a, so to speak, keep them on a leash with just a video camera. it is almost like live rounds, live bullets from a gun when you put a camera in a cops face and he sees you. he is like, oh, well, what do i do now? at first his mindset's, i can do whatever i want, i am police, so i will get away with it. but one cc a civilian recording and it is raw footage and not tamperedch can be with, a body, that could be tampered with, you know what i'm saying? when it is raw and untouched, it means so much more. amy: to you think police would have been indicted without the video evidence of what happened to freddie gray? >> history tells it that they
are not held responsible and accountable for the acts -- look at rodney king. you know what i'm saying? nothing has changed since then. and that is the hurtful part. amy: in your response to the mayor stephanie rawlings blake announcing she will not be running for mayor? many saying it is because of the criticism she received in the aftermath of the freddie blake -- in the freddie gray killing. >> what i don't understand is for mayor stephanie rawlings blake to say, i'm not going to run, not going to race in this mayoral campaign because i want to focus on the city and the needs of the communities. isn't that your job already as the mayor, to focus on the city and are show the love and support and the need to get these people what they need? this is what you're supposed to have been doing, so why is it -- is that the reason that you're
not running? amy: you are saying that is the reason you should run. >> that is the reason you should run. amy: what is your reaction to the city solomon with freddie gray -- cities settlement with freddie gray plus family, the $6.4 million settlement? >> here's the thing. money is not parallel or an extension of justice. right? so in that sense, it is like, ok, you gave them money, but do you think a six-point finally in dollars, if they could, they would purchase their son back? so it is like with that, i'm so grateful that i was able to help you live life easier without your son and that the people that helped push the whole freddie gray movement and baltimore, help to live life a little easier knowing that you will never see your son again, knowing you will never get your loved one back and that even if you wanted to spend that whole
$6.5 million to get the back, that you couldn't. amy: finally, to the police go after you after the film? >> oh, yeah, they locked me up into my brothers from ferguson -- and two of my brothers from ferguson. to this day, i get harassed and policed outside my son school. they taught me with their phones up. amy: are you afraid? >> for my life? well, no. i more so afraid for my family and myself, actually. if they are ok, then i am fine. i feel as though my name is out there far enough to where the people, if anything happened to me, the people will know where it came from. and just know that if i do end up dead today or tomorrow, that i did not kill myself. and if i do it up locked up, i did not commit suicide. you know what i'm saying?
amy: but you're going to keep filming? >> oh, yeah. oh, yeah. i did not start this for nothing. i did not start the wecopwatch and baltimore just to -- just for the freddie gray movement. it is so much bigger than freddie gray. because police brutality is across the world. i was talking to some friends from brazil last night and it brought me to tears to actually see the footage. here i thought it was bad. to see that, is a must third worldly. amy: on to thank you for being with us, kevin moore, one of the people who documented freddie gray's final moments before being taken into police custody. kevin is a member of wecopwatch, a nationwide effort to reduce police violence and harassment by videotaping encounters with the community, and is the founder of wecopwatch baltimore. when we come back, we go to
amy: "the revolution will not be televised" by gil scott-heron. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. schools are closed in seattle again today as the city's first teacher strike in 30 years enters it fifth day. teachers are represented by the seattle education association unanimously voted to go on strike demanding fewer standardized tests for students, more time to prepare for classes, and better pay. the impasse has delayed the start of the public school year for about 53,000 students. the strike comes after washington's supreme court ruled earlier this month that the state's new charter school system is unconstitutional.
a number of seattle parents have come out in support of the teachers. this is mother lilith lysistrata speaking to nbc. >> i think the district needs to pay the teachers what they deserve to be paid and give them the resources they need to be able to educate our children. i have four kids in the seattle public school district and both my spouse and i work. this is hard on us, but i don't with the teachers to full. amy: to talk more about the strike, we go to seattle to speak to our guest. kshama sawant is a socialist city councilmember in seattle. sawant helped win a $15 an hour minimum wage for all workers in seattle. she's a member of the american federation of teachers, and has joined seattle teachers on the picket line. and we're joined by jesse hagopian teaches history and is , an adviser to the black student union at garfield high school. an associate editor for rethinking schools magazine, and editor of the book, "more than a score: the new uprising against high-stakes testing." he received the 2013 secondary school teacher of the year award. he has been elected as a strike
captain. we welcome both to democracy now! jesse, explain this, well, unprecedented for 30 years, teacher strike in seattle. >> thanks for having me back on the show, amy. i want to say that people often tell us that we are not teaching right now. but in fact, i think the educators of seattle are teaching a great lesson not only to our students, but to the entire city of seattle, a lesson in solidarity, a lesson in the power of collective struggle. and we are transforming this city. it is electric on the picket lines with families coming in delivering food. a group called soup for teachers has formed and brought soup and keep the to our schools in the last few days. and it has galvanized the community to the side of the
teachers because they know we're standing up for the issues that matter most to our families. we are standing up for caseload caps for counselors. at garfield high school where i teach, there are 400 students for every counselor. we have 100 homeless students and our school, so there is no way that counselor can provide for the social and emotional well-being of that many students. we're fighting for race and equity teams and every single building. the seattle public schools came under investigation from the department of education which found that our school system suspense black students at four times the rate of white students , which is part of the school to prison pipeline. in our union has put forward a demand that every single school in the seattle public schools have a race and equity committee deck and take up issues like that. in the school district said no. they said you can have only six race and equity teams in six different schools.
in our union is standing up for fair wages for educators who have seen this city become a playground for the rich rather than actually build playgrounds for kids. in fact, one of the major domains the unit go forward was we have recess for our kids in seattle because studies came out that showed dozens of schools were having less than 15 minutes of recess, and the schools were concentrated in high poverty schools and schools that serve kids of color, because of this rise in high-stakes testing, demanding more seat time and kids filling in bubbles. i am proud to say that we already backed the school district down. what i think could be the first guaranteed minimum of resource, we won 30 minutes guaranteed in every single school. there are still so much left on the table because high-stakes
testing, i think, is going to be one of the most important issues that we continue to struggle over. they are trying to reduce the intellectual process of teaching and learning to a single score they can use to punish our students, to punish our teachers, to label all schools failing. -- our schools failing. the union is saying we need to remove that rating from teachers of valuation that ties it to a test score. and that any testing beyond the federal mandate be jointly decided by the union and the district. and i think that is a demand that is really connecting with our communities because there was 60,000 families that opted their kids out this past year and a mass revolt against high-stakes testing. i believe across the country, we are in the midst of the largest revolt against high-stakes testing in u.s. history and i think our union is taking up an
important social struggle that could dramatically transform education and our city and for educatorsl across the country. amy: i want to ask about a piece authored by the president and vice president of the seattle school board. writing in an article headlined, "district to striking teachers: there is no money left," in the "seattle times," sherry carrand and sharon peaslee point out that the district increased teacher salaries in the last 6 years when the state was not able to. they go on to say -- "we believe our proposed contract agreement offers a generous package that increases pay, adds dozens of teachers to reduce class size, and stretches but maintains fiscal health and sustainability with the current proposal, we're out of revenue. there is no money left." jesse hagopian, your response? >> i think that is just shameful. i am really sorry that they
wrote those words because in fact, we know the state is not doing its constitutional duty to fund our schools, but we also know that the school district received $40 million from the state this year in discretionary funds that they can spend any way they want -- much more than they have gotten in the past. and we also know this, that the salaries for the administrators and the district headquarters the last fewver years, and that actually, the salaries of educators have gone down some 1.3% in a study released by a parent who is an accountant in the seattle public school district. so we have seen our health care costs rise and the cost of living sore as our city has become dominated by big corporations like amazon and in fact, our take-home pay in real dollars has been totally stagnant as they have taken --
siphoned more and more money out for the central and administration. the teachers are saying enough is enough, and we're willing to walk the picket line as long as the families are bringing us food and solidarity in bringing their voice and collective struggle, so we will fight back for the schools seattle children deserve. amy: kshama sawant, why did you get involved with this? you are city councilmember. >> the issues that teachers are facing with the issues that jesse was outlining. they should be willing to go on strike to get results -- as a result of decades by successive democratic republican administrations. this is what it has come to. this comes on the heels, the seattle strike comes on the heels of the massive chicago teachers union strike. and we can see the elected officials, including the seattle school board, they're cut from
the same cloth. they are all beholden to the same agenda where public education is going to be stymied at every point. and one of the main lines of attack to public education is to attack teachers unions, because teachers unions are the real uphold the uphold -- means of all caps regardless of race or income. and that is why i see my role as a socialist, as elected public servant, some in husband elected on the mandate of serving the working class, it is absolutely essential for me to be on the picket line. as you may have heard, we had a real success yesterday at city hall. i introduced a resolution, an official statement from the city council, that stands in solidarity with the striking teachers. and we got a unanimous vote on this. those are the people out there who believe, like us, that there is a need for independent working-class politics and that we need our own candidates foot
forward, but it can't work because our voices will be lost among -- this is an inspiring example of when he has even one of our grassroots voices in the halls of government, we can make a huge shift. the simple reason we can do that is because the success that i'm able to have inside city hall reflects the overall mood of resistance we have in society right now. the seattle teachers taking a stand, courageous stand right now, is a symptom of that mood of resistance, the victories we have had is a symptom. i really urge everyone who is watching to join actively in the ongoing struggle. hall,o last night at city jesse hagopian, can you explain what that meeting meant to the teachers? there were many teachers there. >> i think a really was a game changer. we came down and a delegation of educators from around seattle to the city council meeting, and we aard kshama sawant introduce
wonderful resolution in support of the strike. then i heard my colleagues from garfield and other schools speak so powerfully about why we were on strike. one of my colleagues explained his paycheck to the city council, and how every month he owes $57 after paying his student loans and the soaring cost of rent and how he wants to stay in seattle, but he just can't afford it. another colleague explained to each of the city council members , reminded them of the history, the fact they either attended garfield high school or their kids attend the garfield high school and the service we're provided for this community. and then to see a unanimous vote of the city council in support of our strike really gave us confidence. and i think it is going to get our bargaining team confidence
to stand up for the schools our kids deserve and to not back down on any of these important demands that i think are connecting with some of the most important social movements in our country. we have the demand for race and equity teams that i think connects so importantly with the black lives matter movement that is demanding -- we don't just want not to be shot down in the streets by unaccountable police, when we say black lives matter, we also mean we want a rich and fulfilling life and access to education. and i think that demand kenexa summit ofny -- with the demands of the black lives matter movement. also the fight for a living wage. that is what our union is doing. we hope to raise the bar of wages in seattle for all workers. i think this fight is also a fight for women's rights because we have a majority female profession.
and i think it is important that we get equal pay for this majority of female profession will stop i think our movement is really connecting with some of the most important social movements and we're just going to gain strength as the strike goes on. amy: and what would bring you back into the schools? what would end the strike? what is your key demand, jesse? >> i will go back in the classroom and begin teaching when there is a basic level of respect for educators, and when we achieve a contract that respects our kids. and i think some of the key demands that need to be met are an end to the student growth rating and tying teacher evaluations to test scores and a cap on counselors caseloads so they can ask to provide the individual services our kids
deserve. and i think it is really a shame the seattle school district waited until the very end of the summer to respond to any of these really important reforms that the union put forward. and it is because they waited until just the last days before the school year started, that the strike happened. even though they want to blame the union, i think it is important to see the union is actually representing the will of parents, students, and teachers in a collective struggle to transform public education and make it about empowering our students to solve problems in their committee, to identify and justices, to solve those problems and give them the thinking skills they need to create a better world rather than just learning how to eliminate a wrong answer choice or fill in a bubble. and that is a vision for public
education that i am willing to strike for. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us, jesse hagopian teaches history and is an adviser to the black student union at garfield high school. he's an associate editor for rethinking schools magazine, and editor of the book, "more than a score: the new uprising against high-stakes testing." and thank you so much to kshama sawant a socialist city , councilmember in seattle. she spearheaded the move and passage of the $15 an hour minimum wage for all workers in seattle. when we come back, we will look at the relationship between the united states and bolivia. what is the secret operation naked king that targets the president of bolivia evo morales ? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn to an explosive new report that claims the u.s. government has secretly targeted bolivian president evo morales with a drug sting code-named "operation naked king." the report, just released by the huffington post this morning, draws on court documents filed by a long-time dea confidential informant, carlos toro. it appears to confirm morales' long-standing suspicion that the u.s. drug enforcement administration, or dea, has sought to undermine morales' government. in 2008, morales expelled the dea from bolivia accusing the , agency of bribing police officers, violating human rights, covering up murders, and destroying infrastructure. morales then embarked on his own strategy of combating drug trafficking by working cooperatively with coca growers to diversify crops and promote alternative development. his government's efforts were largely effective -- the united nations announced last month that the cultivation of coca leaf in bolivia has fallen to a 13-year low. despite that victory, the dea
announced this week plans to officially decertify bolivia -- a bureaucratic move that would cost bolivia financial assistance, and amounts to an accusation by the dea that bolivia is not sufficiently cooperative in combating drug trafficking. for more, we're joined now by two guests. in washington, d.c., we're joined by nick wing, a reporter at the huffington post. he just broke the story called "operation naked king." and from cochabamba, bolivia we're joined via democracy now! video stream by kathryn ledebur. she's the director of andean information network. we welcome you both to democracy now! nick wing, lay out what you learned. >> we learn to the complaint filed by carlos toro that there are a number of sealed indictment against officials who are either connected to or in the top ranks of the administration of the morale us administration.
we don't know a whole lot exactly about what the evidence against these individuals is, but we do know there was enough to secure these indictments. we have also known for a long while that the u.s. is interested in trying to connect the evo morales administration to cocaine trafficking. i would point out the previous -- two of the previous drug czar's for bolivia have been implicated in sort of the top ranks of some sort of drug trafficking scandals and it is been known for a while that members of the military in a particularly the police, have also been involved in us. we're not exactly sure what the evidence against these individuals is or what the status of this case is right now, but we do know there was enough to get a sealed indictment against them. amy: now, the president himself, evo morales, is a former cocoa grower. can you talk about what the u.s.
's motives are and what the relationship with evo morales has been? >> i would say the answer to that question definitely depends on whom you ask. evo morales, for a long time, has accused the dea of being an armed for western imperialism -- arm for western imperialism, to undermine his role and his role as someone who is trying to cut down the growth of coca in bolivia. this is an say effort, i'm guessing he would say this is an effort to further undermine him and to try and link his administration to cocaine trafficking ring, which they could use to say that only is -- are his efforts to cut down production ineffective, but also corrupt. now i'm guessing the dea is saying this is an honest effort to take cocaine off the global
marketplace. but there would probably be at the disagreement between the two of them. amy: in 2010, democracy now! broadcasted from the world peoples' conference on climate change in cochabamba, bolivia. we spoke to bolivian president evo morales about how the u.s. is combating daffirug tring. listen carefully. >> i continue to be convinced that cocaine and took trafficking is an invention of the united states. and with that invention, has been able to create this war construct trafficking. lives for more. capitalist needs war in order to sell its revenue. it is not an isolated drug issue, it goes to the very interest of capitalism. [indiscernible] and the newntrol
colonialism. amy: that as president evo morales democracy now! speaking to you can watch the whole our on democracynow.org. i want to bring in kathryn ledebur. can you respond to learning that the dea is targeting president m , even with the sting the name of it come operation naked king, catherine? i think the dea is well-known for bizarre authorization -- operation names and i think this is an interesting revelation. in one instance, there were a lot of evo morales complaints about inappropriate activities of the dio, going beyond their mission and levels of entrapment or political involvement that were really dismissed by u.s. officials at the time of the dea expulsion and what we see now is there was a dea operation, of course, when the dea had no
authorization to operate in the country. i think it is an important time reevaluatee -- criticisms of the dea, and there have been many, but specifically within bolivia, criticisms of u.s. drug policy and look at these revelations and look at what really needs to be changed dramatically. amy: and what does it mean for the u.s. to go after morales in this way? what will it mean in bolivia? >> i think there's going to be a great deal of frustration. i don't think there's going to be a lot of surprise. in theave been international press, hints of this over the past five or six years. so i don't think anybody is one to be surprised. i don't think this is going to do anything to prove bilateral -- improve bilateral relations. there have been a series of failed attempts to do so. but i hope this is a point in time when the u.s. can realize there is not oversight over the dea, and that u.s. drug policy in the case of bolivia and in
the andes has failed miserably. amy: i want to end with another talkingout evo morales about u.s. targeting. in 2013, with the expander julian assange played a pivotal role in helping national security agency whistleblower edward snowden qureshi. once he made it to russia, julian assange explored ways to help them reach america. during the u.s. hunt for snowden, evo morales' plane was forced to land in austria for 14 hours because of rumors snowden was on board. last week, jeremy scahill interviewed julian assange via video stream for the launch of his book "the wikileaks files." julian talked about wikileaks efforts to help snowden. >> moscow, the we looked for, how can we get him out of moscow without a diplomatic -- i'm sorry, without a passport? would not take them. commercial airliners not taken.
we noticed there was an oil conference in moscow, and president maduro was going to be there amongst other presidents. one of those others was president evo morales. now, within reached out our feelers to maduro a formal, maybe by that stage, public offer of asylum to snowden, but we decided that because there was so much surveillance that in this communication, our code morales maduro would be , because he was so surveilled. we had lawyers involved. when he evo made a joke was in russia at this oil conference, president evo morales, joked that at the end of interview, well, he was off
to meet snowden now. it was just a joke. anyway, these things seem to to confined -- combined. and the u.s. intelligence services put two and two together and made 22 -- [laughter] and decided that they then had to expand vast amounts of capital ringing up the countries of western europe and try to close their airspace to a presidential jet flight from evo morales. which they did. and spain, france, and portugal , credibly, topace presidential jet flight because the u.s. intelligence asked them to come and done so without any legal or administrative process. then evo morales'flight took off and tried to go into the flight path to refuel and the canary islands to go off to bolivia.
so because thedo airspace having closed and was forced to land in vienna. and then there was a 12 hour process were president morales was stuck in the airport waiting lounge of vienna because he could not get the clearance anywhere else. a presidential jet is protected under the vienna convention, the convention that effect protects me in this embassy -- it surrounds diplomatic territory. presidential jet listed as diplomatic territory. so you had an enormous violation of the vienna convention in vienna. [laughter] now, this really sealed edward snowden's successful asylum application when eventually became clear was too dangerous to take any other option, in russia because what could be the russian response to this downing a president evo morales'
flight? deal the response they could give to seem like a credible country is that if he asks -- is snowden asks for asylum, then they would accept the asylum request, and that is what ended up happening. so this incredible diplomatic own goal led to this bullying of western europe, which provided the ultimate proof that edward snowden was being politically persecuted, which is what ended up giving him asylum. amy: julian assange speaking last week in brooklyn, new york via video stream. he spoke from the ecuadorian embassy in london where he has been holed up for over three years or he received political asylum. special thanks to kevin moor kan ledebur and nick wing. we willing to his new story just toppled "operation a kicking: u.s. secretly targeted believe a evo morales in drug sting."